The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. Long term Allied Group Limited (HKG:373) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 102% in five years. On top of that, the share price is up 16% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 17% in the last three months.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, Allied Group actually saw its EPS drop 0.8% per year.
By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the decline in earnings per share is not representative of how the business has changed over the years. Therefore, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movements.
In contrast revenue growth of 12% per year is probably viewed as evidence that Allied Group is growing, a real positive. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
This free interactive report on Allied Group's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Allied Group the TSR over the last 5 years was 169%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Allied Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 81% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 22%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - Allied Group has 4 warning signs (and 2 which are a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on HK exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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